A few years ago Dr. Scott DeHart and I published a book titled Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas, in which we argued that there seemed to be a parallel between old forms of alchemy and the transhumanist agenda, manifest in the latter's attempt to crawl back up the alchemical ladder from animal, to vegetable, to mineral, and finally, to androgynous man. This would be accomplished, in the first two cases, by genetic engineering of chimerical combinations of human and animal DNA, and human and plant DNA, and in the third case, by attempting the direct merger or fusion of human and machine. The fourth - androgynous man - possibly being in evidence in the current fad "gender" engineering and all of its associated implications we've seen all too well manifest in social engineering of language, "hormone" therapies, and so on.
In this article shared by W.G., it would appear that one agenda regarding the third rung in that alchemical ladder, that of the return to "mineral man" might have a military component:
The reasons given for this research are that real muscles are much more capable of subtlety of movement:
In a move seemingly straight out of a science fiction movie, the U.S. Army is now working on robots that combine living tissue with machines.
A team at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is working on “biohybrid robotics” that integrate living tissue into mechanical systems in a manner that produces “never-before-seen” agility and versatility.
While much progress has been made in the field of robotics, current systems still lack the precision and agility seen in biological systems in nature. The ARL’s project is looking to utilize biological components to give robots the same agility and precision that muscles offer for biological systems.
“Today’s robot’s primary limitation is power, strength and versatility” explains ARL research scientist Dean Culver. “They can perform limited tasks for a certain amount of time. But it’s not really on the order of magnitude that an organism can do the same thing. We still don’t have robots that can go into an unknown space and adapt to what they sense. These are all ultimately problems that we feel that either a bio-hybrid or a bioinspired engineering design can tackle.” (Emphasis added)
As usual, I have my own high octane speculations, or rather in this case, suspicions, about what this push might be for. The first and most obvious that springs to mind is, of course, the idea of "super-soldiers". In our Transhumanism book, Dr. DeHart and I pointed out that some of the more bizarre research being conducted by the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency (which is how we refer to DARPA on this site) included studies of dolphins, which creatures never sleep. Apparently, one half of a dolphin's brain sleeps while the other half "takes over". The reason for the research? Imagine soldiers requiring much less rest during military operations. It's well known that during the Second World War, particularly prior to the Battle for France and later Operation Barbarossa, German soldiers were given doses of amphetamine to allow them to keep up a pace of operations that the Western Allies and the Soviet Union were simply not prepared for. A "dolphinized" soldier would be far superior to "soldiers on speed" in terms of carrying out a rapid pace of operations, because they would require no sleep, and no drugs (with all their attendant after effects and implicit dangers of addiction and so on).
The second thing, less obvious, is space, not only in terms of being able to explore rough (or underground) terrain, but also in terms of being able to fight whatever (or whomever) might be encountered. I've blogged previously about the use of this type of robot-human cyborg actually being touted by some scientists as a necessity to a permanent "human" presence in space. For this body of thought, an "unmodified" or "unimproved" human being simply is not fit for any long-term space presence.
Or to put that point differently, that third rung of the alchemical ladder which appears to be operative in transhumanism, the fusion of man and machine, has also penetrated the thinking of some scientists and technicians involved in deep space exploration and colonization.
Or to put it even more succinctly, space is being made into a transhumanist playground.
See you on the flip side...